Approach Design Studio / Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group

Set amid the rows of identical block apartments in the background, Huizhen High School is a breath of positive air for the students of Ningbo city, and it recently won one of architecture’s highest honors.

Recently hailed as World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore on Friday, it was made to blur the distinction between inside and outside; a variety of treehouse-like rooms and corridors connecting various open-air spaces like a lecture hall and study area.

Years of modern booming property markets and a hardcore communist past left decades of school construction amorphous, grey, and without aesthetic of any kind. But in a country with deep societal pressures for educational attainment and classrooms that can number as many as 60 students, a more welcoming and refreshing design could be considered imperative.

Huizhen High School was designed by Approach Design Studio, based in Hangzhou. They partnered with the Zhejiang University of Technology and Engineering, and managed to beat Newark Liberty International Airport’s recently opened Terminal A, Australia’s Holocaust Museum in Melbourne, and new national stadiums in both Cambodia and Senegal the win the top distinction in addition to the best school distinction.

“Our focus was not just about designing a school, or working with new forms, spaces, materials, and facades, but about designing new school life and bringing the power of nature into the building,” said Di Ma, director at Approach Design Studio and the Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group, in a statement.

MORE CHINESE ARCHITECTURAL TRENDS: Epic ‘Floating’ Science Fiction Museum is Erected in One Year to Wow Fans at 81st World Sci-Fi Convention-LOOK

Approach Design Studio / Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group

Approach also said that while teaching is nationally standardized to be efficient, the areas of the school are meant to help students “release stress, adjust their body and mind and discover beauty” outside the classroom where trees blend in with concrete and inside with outside.

Judged on 18 different criteria by a panel of 140 experts, the WAF World Building of the Year is considered to be one of architecture’s highest honors.

MORE AWESOME BUILDINGS: One of the Most Beautiful Green Buildings in the World is a Winery

Last year’s winner was Sydney’s spectacular Quay Towers, which rather than being knocked down, were “upcycled” into a new and incredible construction at half the price. The upcycling saved thousands of tons of CO2 emissions from the lack of demolition operations.

SHARE This Spectacular School And Changing Attitudes In China On Social Media…

Leave a Reply